Playa Panama, Costa Rica

Costa Rica has an international reputation for its success in conserving and presenting its natural treasures. This success has been achieved by both National Parks and private individuals. Excellent examples of these can be accessed from the small tourist settlement of Playa Panama. Playa Panama is a low-key beach resort. Palo Verde National Park protects both a significant wetlands and rare dry tropical forests. The Park varies dramatically with the seasons but is always captivating. During the May to November wet season the floodplain of the Tempisque River expands to create extensive marshes. As the December to April dry season progresses, water shrinks to isolated pools, concentrating wildlife. At any time of the year, birds to see include the Roseate Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Black-crowned Night Heron, Anhinga, and the Snail Kite with the extra-long hook on its beak for the extraction of molluscs from their shells (escargot anyone?). Jabiru Storks and Great Curassows are spectacular rarities to seek.

Other fauna includes American Crocodiles, fresh-water turtles, Iguanas and White-nosed Coatis. In Costa Rica, some private estates have developed conservation principles for their businesses. They combine farming, and value adding to the farm produce, with providing wildlife refuges. This satisfies the owners’ interests in flora and fauna and provides additional revenue from tourists attracted to the nature. And who could argue against combining wildlife with a little local rum production?

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